Oilers expected to pursue McLellan for head coach

Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman recap all the top news from around the NHL including an update on Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock.

Not so fast on the Mike Babcock to Edmonton rumours.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Oilers are expected to turn their attention towards pursuing former San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.

Babcock talked to Friedman earlier on Saturday, stressing “not to automatically assume he’s going to leave the Detroit Red Wings.” The longtime Red Wings coach said three things are important to him while searching through potential offers: his relationship with the owner and general manager, the team’s plan, and how his family feels about the city.

“Babcock added he will visit any city before signing a contract,” Friedman said. “He’s going to the worlds. He doesn’t come back until (May 17) and that may not leave him a lot of time.”

McLellan, who mutually parted ways with San Jose on Apr. 20, reportedly met with new Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli in Prague earlier in the week. The 47-year-old is currently coaching Canada at the World Championships where he is getting a first-hand look at Oilers forwards Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.

He had been the Sharks head coach since 2008, leaving the franchise as the all-time leader in wins (311), games coached (540) and points percentage (.637), with an overall record of 311-163-66.

The news comes just hours after Chiarelli met with interim head coach Todd Nelson, who posted a 17-25-9 record in 55 games this past season.

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